Old Hollywood with Piers Morgan
Journalist & CNN Host
I lived at the Beverly Wilshire, one of the world's truly great hotels, for a total of two and a half years between 2006 and 2011, and ended up in the suite Warren Beatty made home for a decade in the '70s. I quite understood why he loved it so much. Great location, right at the foot of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, wonderful service, the best steak restaurant in America, CUT, and unparalleled star-spotting. I used to have breakfast two tables away from Sidney Poitier twice a week. Not sure life gets cooler than that.
My most memorable moment in Los Angeles was at the All-Star basketball game in 2011 when Dustin Hoffman walked me across the court to introduce me to Warren Beatty—and explain to him that I was living in his old bedroom. Warren was bemused... then amused... then enthused.
The activities not to be missed
- Manhattan Beach: The best in LA; small, intimate, fun, friendly and reminds me of a British seaside resort.
- The LA Dodgers: I take my sons to the ballgame whenever they're in town, and it's one of the purest Americana experiences you will ever enjoy. Grab a seat, order a beer and a Dodger Dog (with extra mustard), moan at the referee, sing the songs with gusto, and pray the Dodgers win...
- Universal Studios: The best of the theme parks, if like me, you're a big movie-buff kid-at-heart.
The places you should definitely see
- The Getty Museum: For wonderful views of the city, and the most amazing art you'll find in California.
- The Hollywood Sign: It's the most famous sign in the world. You can drive pretty close, so take the kids, stand beneath it, get the photo, and they'll thank you forever—after they've Facebooked, Tweeted and MySpaced the life out of it.
My favorite places to eat
- Madeo: A fabulous, Old Hollywood Italian eatery where Sinatra and his pals used to hang out. I always have the spaghetti bolognese, which is done the way Dean Martin always liked it.
- Soho House: Where you can sit on the outside olive-tree-laden terrace restaurant, beneath the twinkling stars, sipping fine Burgundy and eating their signature, and utterly delicious, black cod.
- The Ivy: Another Hollywood classic that never fails to deliver. I love sitting on the patio, eating platefuls of stone crab, listening to jazz, and watching the paparazzi swarm over the endless celebrities who use it as a canteen. A place to see, and be seen.
My hidden gems would be
- The Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum: Half an hour out of town, but so worth it; you can go on his old Air Force One, which is a pretty unique thing to do.
- La Conversation: A delightful little French café on Doheny Drive in Beverly Hills.
The most romantic thing you can do here is go to Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica, and have a Martini on the terrace as the sun goes down—just magical.